Tesla’s Creepy 'Solid Metal Snake' Robotic Charger Slithers Its Way Into Model S

Late last year, Elon Musk teased us with a new product that Tesla Motors was working on in its research lab. What Musk described seemed creepy at the time, especially considering that he had just recently shown us “The D” at an evening press event.

“Btw, we are actually working on a charger that automatically moves out from the wall & connects like a solid metal snake,” said Musk in a tweet on December 31. “For realz.”

Tesla Solid Metal Snake

We didn’t think much else about this intriguing contraption given the precious little details that Musk provided at the time. But fast forward seven months and we now have video of the serpent-like charger in action — and it’s just as creepy as we imagined it to be:

As you can see, the prototype plug in fact does look like a solid metal snake and moves around with the finesse and fluidity of the similarly-shaped water alien from the movie “The Abyss.” The snake starts in a vertical position then slowly bends down, sniffing out its prey — in this case, a Tesla Model S charging port. Once the target is acquired, the solid metal snake lowers its head, thrusts itself into the charging port and injects its venom, err, electrons into the vehicle.

It’s really quite fascinating to see in action, and is something that we will likely see arriving at Tesla Superchargers that are dotted across the United States and the globe once all the bugs are worked out. Or perhaps, Tesla is angling to have these solid metal snakes installed in your garage so that you won’t even have to remember to plug in your Model S at night.

In other news, Tesla recently revealed [PDF] that its upcoming Model X crossover will begin shipping to customers next month. In a letter to shareholders, Musk wrote, “We are building more validation vehicles, executing final engineering and testing work, enabling our new manufacturing equipment and finalizing arrangements with our suppliers.

“We have been producing release candidate Model X bodies in our new body shop equipped with more than 500 robots as we fine-tune and validate our production processes.”

After numerous delays, we can’t wait to see the production version of Tesla’s latest electric vehicle.


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